Save YSU Meshel Hall for Computer Research and Education
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In March of 1986, the construction of Meshel Hall was completed. The $15 million “ultra-modern high - technology” building was constructed to house computer services and provide “high-tech” instruction and training in computer science and information technology. This would play a major role in the Mahoning Valley's economic recovery by laying a foundation to a new industry based on technology. But for the last 20 years the building has been neglected and its primary purpose has been abandoned. The 2nd floor was seized by administrative services since the mid 90s, and now it is the plan of the YSU administration to requisition the 1st floor to be occupied by another unrelated department. This would restrict the Computer Science and Information System (CSIS) department to a single floor for classroom instruction, computer laboratories, and student study areas.
"This would severely inhibit the CSIS department's ability to serve its current students in providing a quality educational experience in an environment consistent with high technology and prevent expansion into new areas of research and instruction, or future technologies necessary for any thriving department in order to attract future students and faculty."
It is our goal to encourage the current administration (Provost and Dean of STEM, YSU, and the Board of Trustees) to not act on this very short sighted solution to “underutilization” that would not serve the current or future students due to its lack of vision. We feel that any decision concerning the utilization of Meshel Hall should be:
- To encourage and inspire current and future faculty to be engaged in research and interdisciplinary collaboration by supplying ample space for research laboratories and well equipped modern classrooms,
- To encourage and inspire current and future students to achieve their highest most rigorous academic success in an environment that supports such efforts,
- To use the space in a way that is consistent with its original purpose— as an investment in the future economic recovery of the Youngstown community based on technology.
Here is a list of improvements we hope our efforts will encourage the current administration to seriously consider in any future decisions for Meshel Hall:
- New Laboratories for research that is in current demand in the computer field such as: Cybersecurity, Usability and Software Engineering, IOT (Internet Of Things), Biotech and Nanotechnology, Robotics, Operating Systems, Data Mining/ Predictive Analytics/Cloud Computing, Gaming and Vision, Open Source and Free Software Development
- Restoration of the 2nd floor including atrium to be used for lectures and student organization meetings
- CSIS Maker Space that includes 3D Printing capabilities
- Adequate, comfortable and clean study areas that would allow students to collaborate with each other and with professors (with plenty of plugs).
Harry Meshel, the visionary for Meshel Hall in 1986, is about to retire as a member of the Board of Trustees. In one of his last meetings he said:
NO ONE HAS DONE ANYTHING WITH THAT BUILDING EXCEPT INVADE IT!
In signing this petition, you are demonstrating your support to the YSU administration for Meshel Hall to be solely used for computer research and education. Add your voice to ours and Mr. Meshel.
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